Tag: conversations

3D Juggling 711: Notes

legal-pad-979558_1920Claire writes: “A very common question in training events is about whether or not you should take notes when you are having a coaching style conversation. If your background or your day job requires any kind of due diligence, you’ll be used to taking them.

  1. It’s hard to listen with your eyes when you’re writing – Listen first
  2. What are you writing down? If it’s information about the problem or the context you may slip into talking to that instead of the person – Talk to the person
  3. Are you thinking what you might be forgetting something? – Try writing on one small sticky note rather than in an A4 notebook!

A coaching style is useful when the conversation is about the other person making some sense of their situation. Their stuff. Their notes. And if things need to be written down, try using David Clutterbuck’s Four Is at the end:

  • what are the issues we have explored?
  • what are your insights?
  • what ideas have we had?
  • what are your intentions?”

© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd

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3D Juggling 709: Ask First

triathlon-race-805386_1280Accredited ICF coaches who want to renew their ACC need 10 hours mentor coaching over 3 years. Why not make it fun and join our Master Coach Claire and a group of renewing ACCs in a virtual group.  Call or email to say yes!

Nick writes: “A coach friend commented recently that he keeps annoying people he works with and is not sure why. He likes to challenge people’s thinking and they don’t always respond well. I asked, ‘Have you contracted first with them about how you will work together?’ Great questions at the outset can be, ‘What are we here to do?’ and ‘How shall we do this?’ It creates opportunity to discuss and agree what to focus on and what kind of relationship and ways of working will be most useful. These are the S, the O and the R in STOKeRS.”

© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 708: Listen With Your Eyes

Listen with your eyesClaire writes: “Active Listening is often used as a descriptor for coaching. I think I must be a slow learner as I am only just articulating that active means listening with all our senses. Which is why listening with our eyes is so important – and saves loads of time.

People’s gestures are almost always ahead of their speech. So someone who is saying they’re stuck may be moving their hands in a forward gesture. When you start listening with your eyes, you will also notice whether your colleague is thinking (looking away, slightly hesitant) or telling you things they know already (maintaining eye contact, speaking fluently). Learning to listen like this is quite difficult when you are learning the art of powerful questioning at the same time. But next time you’re in a meeting and it’s not your bit, watch and you’ll begin to hear differently.”
© 2016 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

3D Juggling 707: The Odd Things

Coaching Toolkit

Claire writes: “We have been trying out a few ideas lately as we work with people to have more effective conversations. One thing I have noticed is how wordy we can get when trying to talk about something. It easily becomes interview and transmit more than facilitate and think.

So I went to Wilkos and bought half a dozen A3 sketch pads. The next masterclass for people using coaching at work, I gave them each a pad and a packet of pens. Once they had worked out what they were thinking about, the thinker simply drew or scribbled on the pad – and only asked for a question when they wanted one. Which was hardly ever! And when they did – they just noticed what they noticed about the page. Which was usually pointing quizically to the odd things – the empty space or the word with several underlinings.

The feedback from the thinkers was how much more effective it was a way of helping them think than a normal coaching conversation. And yet it was coaching and transformation emerged for them all.”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

 

3D Juggling 706: Stop Talking!

head-927180_1280Claire writes: “When we need to think through a slightly complex conversation, it’s common to find someone else with whom to talk it through. Talking about talking is helpful. What can be even more useful is to try it out. We call that real play.

All you need to do is talk to another as though they are the person – and hear yourself say what you’re thinking of saying. Unlike role play, they don’t join in – they just ask you how that felt. More often than not you will want to change the tone or the challenge – and can have another go. If you do that, moving a bit before you try again makes it easier to make the change. It’s astonishing how effective this can be.”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
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3D Juggling 705: Observing

binoculars-354623_1280Claire writes: “Another great week observing people having conversations and noticing what works and what doesn’t. I’ve written before about how easy it is to translate what we see into a question or a piece of advice – and how the power of the real data – what was observed – is quickly lost in translation or received as opinion where it loses its impact.

If you notice something, the most powerful thing you can do is to say it. I often say ‘Can I make an observation?’ because it clearly distinguishes that it’s different from the content of what we are talking about. It’s coming from what is heard or seen or sensed. And asking permission means we can be very challenging. The skill then is to ensure it contains no judgement: ‘I’m noticing you say you want to do that – and I’m hearing no energy in your voice…’

Try it!”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

 

3D Juggling 704: Purposeful Conversations

tacks-949144_1280Nick writes: “When did you last have a great conversation at work? I’ve noticed that frustration and fatigue often arise from conversations and meetings that lack focus, that feel pointless, that lack purpose. It’s one of the main reasons why there is so much cynicism about meetings in organisations.

Now while different types of conversation are appropriate for different relationships and situations, questions that tease out purpose can be very powerful. They surface assumptions and create opportunity to discuss and agree on what would be worthwhile.

Here are some purpose-focused questions: Why are we here? What are we here to do? What would make this time useful? What is the goal we’re trying to achieve? What would a great outcome look and feel like? What do we want to be different by the end of this conversation?

We can use purpose-focused questions at the start of a meeting or mid-way through if we start to notice drift or confusion. ‘Let’s just remind ourselves what we’re here to do…where we’re trying to get to.’ Focusing and re-focusing can energise our conversations and ensure great results. (And it’s a coaching approach: people feel heard, something is known at the end that was known at the beginning that will make a (positive) difference to what is done or known or felt.)”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

 

3D Juggling 703: So Complicated

the lightest touch has the greatest impactClaire writes: ‘Watching my husband and a 4 year old friend navigate my iPad is an astonishing lesson. She makes everything work seamlessly. He can’t work out how to use it.

When we have learned that things are complicated, it’s tricky to do something simply. That’s why there’s so much unlearning to have simpler and more effective conversations. But it’s worth it. The value of coaching is in saying little enough to keep another’s thinking in flow. That’s all.”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email

 

Coaching Standing Up

Coaching doesn’t have to be a conversation sitting down for an hour with the door shut.  Standing up side by side means we don’t do what we normally do – and that can make a difference.  Listen to what Jane experienced:

3D Juggling 702: Follow or Lead?

tandem-20992_1280 (1)Claire writes: “As we complete our tour with End of Life, it’s been a great opportunity to think differently about how we describe our approach to conversations. The dictionary defines (sports) coaching as training or instructing people. It implies a level of expertise of the coach in the subject.

The coaching we do at work isn’t like that at all. For me, conversational coaching is having a conversation where

  • Someone feels heard
  • They know something at the end they didn’t know at the beginning
  • Something will be done, known or felt differently as a result

Coaching uses the listening and questioning skills that are present in many different crafts – counselling, mentoring etc… and yet it’s different. Coaching is non-directive like counselling. And it’s generally more direct and more clearly framed. The coach and the person they are talking to work out how to have the conversation together. It’s the person who is thinking that leads. The coach follows like the stoker on the back of a tandem.”

© 2015 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely. Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com Register here to receive our blog posts every Monday by email